Open Thread

Monday Flashback Open Thread: What’s Old is New Again

They say that fashion goes in twenty year cycles. These days, I’m wondering about toys. I was the happy owner of an original Care Bear, my daughter, thirty-five years later, is thoroughly enjoying a Care Bear of her own. My son is just as into Star Wars as my brother was the summer that Return of the Jedi hit the theaters. 

What thing from your childhood has made a come back (or heck, maybe it never left) that you’re excited about? What do you wish would just go away and stay away?

28 replies on “Monday Flashback Open Thread: What’s Old is New Again”

I’m hopping on the ‘advice-needed’ train…

So… I got that job that I was talking about last week. I put my current boss down as a reference. The thing is, he doesn’t know I’ve been looking for a job (nothing to do with this job, just about not being in a long-distance relationship forever) and he doesn’t know I went for an interview last week: I took a morning off sick and then worked from home that afternoon.

When I tell him about the new job, should I come clean totally  (that day last week when I wasn’t able to come in, I lied, I was actually at an interview…) or just say nothing and hope whoever calls to get the reference won’t mention the exact interview details? I’m leaning towards the first option but any opinions welcome…

I don’t think it’s necessary. I know it’s tempting to feel like you owe him an explanation, but really he’ll probably assume that’s where you were if you get the job and give notice, and nothing obligates you to ‘fess up.’ Not only is it unnecessary, but if he wanted to be a jerk about it he could use it as grounds for dismissal, and no one needs that. And, technically, you were sick; sick of not having the other job :)

Is anyone still on the OT?  I have a issue.  BF made a rape apologist argument last night and I jumped on him for it.  Best friend also jumped on him for it.  Rather than argue with him on the internet, I Skyped him and we fought for about three hours.  At the end of it, I kind of saw where he was coming from, even if I didn’t agree.  This morning, I got a long email from my friend about how he was an ass and she couldn’t believe I was still dating him.  I told her I wasn’t rehashing it.  And I’m a little angry at her.  So now I have two problems:

1.  How do I help Boy get past his privilege issues?  We talked about it last night, but he wasn’t receptive.  Sometimes it does take time and a healthy argument for him to understand where I’m coming from, but last night was particularly bad.  (Please note:  He has gotten WAY better in the past few years.  But when you grow up in a conservative, affluent neighborhood, you do absorb some of their cultural ideas even if you think you abhor them.  There has been progress.  I’m actually kind of proud of him.)

2.  Am I wrong to be pissed at my friend for inserting herself into my relationship?  Her email basically came down to, “I hate him and I can’t believe you’re still with him after that.  Even if he’s nice to you, he is an idiot.”  And was pretty high horse and judgmental.  Is there a way to respond?

3.  I do feel kind of embarrassed by him right now.  But again, he IS learning, and I think those feelings are natural.  It’s the same feeling I get when my parents are accidentally racist in public.  I can’t be mad because they literally don’t know any better, but I still have to claim them to the world.  Embarrassing, but all you can do is try to discuss the other point of view.  I also think this would be an incredibly stupid thing TO end our relationship over, but I’m really upset by it.

TL;DR  BF says something horrible and stupid.  We had a productive fight.  Now I am taking the flak for his behavior from other people.  What the fuck do I do?

Ugh, that’s horrible. I think you need to tell friend to kindly back the fuck off because you were there, you fought and talked about it and you don’t have to know what she thinks of your boyfriend (in a friendly way?).

No clue about what to do with the boyfriend though.

Thing one, I would tell your friend that you are discussing the matter with your boyfriend, and you would appreciate it if she would lay off the matter. Yes he said something stupid, but you think it is worthwhile to try and educate him, and it is your call to make. I think a bit of aggravation is fair on this issue, because she does not get to call the shots on your relationship, but hopefully if you tell her that she needs to back down a bit while you work this out with him, she will understand.

Secondly, without knowing what his stumbling block on privilege is it’s a little hard to figure out how to help. My default go to articles for getting guys to understand privilage are Straight White Male is the Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is and Nerds and Male Privilege (most of the guys I know are nerds). The second one has a follow up article breaking down common arguments against privilege. Shakesville’s Rape Culture 101 is also useful.

And of course, it is up to you how to proceed with this. I know I have a few folks in my inner circle who can be awful when it comes to understanding progressive viewpoints, but they are important enough to me not to break off the relationship entirely, so I put up with the feelings of haribble embarrassment when they say hurtful, awful things, and I make it clear that I don’t agree with them and never will. Hopefully he’ll see why you are upset and come around on the issue.

I’ve been faced with similar issues from an ex, and now my current bf (although he is not a rape apologist, he sometimes doesn’t get where my feminist self is coming from). It can be so hard because men are often very ignorant of their own privilege, especially when raised by non-progressive parents. The ex was not interested in re-thinking some of his privileged positions, but my current bf is, which makes a big difference in the relationship.

1. I don’t know if you can help him get past his privilege issues, if he doesn’t really want to. He has to make more of a self-driven effort to educate himself and understand where you’re coming from. If he is open to improving, I would send him more feminist lit to read (those ones that Opifex suggested are a great start). However, I’d suggest 1st coming to the understanding that he DOES want to learn more about this stuff before sending anything though. Otherwise, he won’t read them w/ an open mind (or maybe not at all), and he may say you’re “condescending.” But if he shows no real desire to change, you may have to learn to accept him that way or just move on (I’d personally go with the latter because life is too short). Frankly, change is hard, and impossible unless self-motivated. Him caring about you may be enough motivation, but it might not be.

2. This sucks because I can really see where your friend is coming from. Would you want to see your friend with someone you really though was a sexist asshole? Would you just bite your tongue or say what you really feel? And I don’t think it’s wrong to be judgmental about someone saying sexist, assholish things. But she really has not right to try to dictate your feelings or relationship. I think the only way to respond is to tell her that you recognize her feelings, but that you are now attempting to work on your relationship issues w/ your bf alone. That you have no plans to break up over this, and she needs to respect that. You may need to also back away from complaining to this particular friend about your bf.

3. Honestly, this sounds a bit like excuses for racists and sexists. People CAN stop being racist and/or sexist and they do know better. People do it all the time—they educate themselves and question their beliefs and rethink their assumptions. Yes, you can still have racists/sexists in your life on your own terms, but it’s all about boundaries (I’ve realized this with my own sexist/racist parents). But it’s hard to construct the proper boundaries against someone you’re in a committed relationship with. Also, I don’t think that ending a relationship with someone who can’t/won’t help being a rape apologist is “incredibly stupid.” Is he really going to change? If so, it will be hard but you may end up with a stronger bond. If not, you need to either find a way to make peace with being with someone that is a rape apologist or break up. None of those options are easy. But, they are easier than hoping someone will just somehow manage to change.

If your BF is open to hearing your opinion and didn’t insult or denigrate you or your friend while expressing his own,  then you can tell your friend that you realise he was an ass (and so does he) but he’s working on it, you like him, and you’d appreciate it if she could let it go.

I just had one of those rare moments when a commenter on an internet article (a website outside my usual feminist sites) made me so, so happy. Here’s the quote to this – – article.

Okay, I realize that the thing about “real women” has become trite and meaningless – so maybe there needs to be some perspective on that.

90% of women have cellulite – But hardly any pictures of women show cellulite unless they’re scandal rags revealing (ermagherd) that celebs have cellulite too. It’s not appetizing, but it’s there, for many thin women as well as fat women.

That’s reality. You live with it, day in, day out. You can’t get rid of it. There is no real effective treatment for it. And yet, almost the entirety of the visual media does not represent women this way. That’s only one of the huge lies that they continue to spread to men and women about women.

Sure does nothing to take the awkwardness out of sex, I’ll tell you that. She’s always trying to keep the lights off and the clothes on and he’s always trying to keep the lights on and the clothes off, and she’s convinced she’s a wrinkly monster, and he just wants to get the full experience. THAT’S reality.

So yeah, we’re sold a lot of lies. Then we’re sold a lot of products. Heels, make-up, push-up bras, Spanx, panty-hose, nipple tape, false eyelashes and hair extensions, weaves, dyes, and surgical procedures – all to make us into this idealistic woman, who has never existed except for under the hands of graphic artists and in the collective mind – the same way the ideal chair exists, or the ideal bed. The ideal mattress firmness.

But a mattress doesn’t cry herself to sleep because someone who believes in the ideal told her she was ugly. Someone who believes in that ridiculous ideal so much that they feel no compunction about verbally abusing any woman who doesn’t stuff themselves into that standard.

I don’t think there’s a man alive in the U.S. today who has NOT said something negative about a woman’s weight or looks – because they don’t fit some invisible standard.

That, too, is reality. So, you think women believe the airbrushed crap? No. We don’t. But men do. And when men tell women that they SHOULD look like the air-brushed crap – that’s when women start believing they’re ugly. Because other people show us the mirror of ourselves, and if they hold up a distorted image, it becomes easy to believe you are hideous.

Real women are flawed. And we all need to start looking at flaws not as something to be eradicated, but something to be accepted. Not something to be pointed out and denigrated, but something to either ignore or cherish.

Then maybe we can stop focusing on our decaying shells and start focusing on what really matters – the only thing we might be able to take with us when we die.


I cannot seem to get motivated enough to do any work.  I have decided that I am going to set the timer for 15 minutes because setting it for an hour doesn’t work.  However, then I feel like an asshole because I have to set it for 15 minutes, even though I know rationally 15 minutes at a time is better than nothing. Ahhhhh!  I hate school.

But um, first I need to surf the web, play Songpop, have a smoke, send an email, and drink some water.

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